Concept Correlation and Its Effects on Concept-Based Models

Lena Heidemann, Maureen Monnet, Karsten Roscher; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV), 2023, pp. 4780-4788


Concept-based learning approaches for image classification, such as Concept Bottleneck Models, aim to enable interpretation and increase robustness by directly learning high-level concepts which are used for predicting the main class. They achieve competitive test accuracies compared to standard end-to-end models. However, with multiple concepts per image and binary concept annotations (without concept localization), it is not evident if the output of the concept model is truly based on the predicted concepts or other features in the image. Additionally, high correlations between concepts would allow a model to predict a concept with high test accuracy by simply using a correlated concept as a proxy. In this paper, we analyze these correlations between concepts in the CUB and GTSRB datasets and propose methods beyond test accuracy for evaluating their effects on the performance of a concept-based model trained on this data. To this end, we also perform a more detailed analysis on the effects of concept correlation using synthetically generated datasets of 3D shapes. We see that high concept correlation increases the risk of a model's inability to distinguish these concepts. Yet simple techniques, like loss weighting, show promising initial results for mitigating this issue.

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@InProceedings{Heidemann_2023_WACV, author = {Heidemann, Lena and Monnet, Maureen and Roscher, Karsten}, title = {Concept Correlation and Its Effects on Concept-Based Models}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV)}, month = {January}, year = {2023}, pages = {4780-4788} }